As we look ahead to 2019, it gives us an opportunity to look back on the year that was at Canterbury Park.
Here, in no particular order, are 10 of the best moments from 2018.
Ringo – Three-legged Dog Wins
In what track announcer Paul Allen called “one of the greatest stories” in Canterbury Park history, a three-legged dog, Ringo, won a heat (and our hearts) during the Wiener Dogs and Donuts event on July 28.
It was a heartwarming tale that media outlets across the country picked up.
Mr. Jagermeister Keeps Winning
Some have called Mr. Jagermeister the most talented Minnesota-bred horse to grace the track at Canterbury Park.
He put on one impressive performance after another during the summer of 2018, including nearly setting a track record for the distance in the $100,000 Minnesota Derby.
First Mount, First Win
Another touching moment from 2018 was seeing Kelsi Harr, a 25-year-old from Arkansas, ride to victory in her debut as a jockey.
Harr was greeted in the winner’s circle by other members of the jockey colony who, as is the tradition when a rider gets her first win, doused Harr in water and talcum powder. A smile on her face and a wave to her mother completed the scene.
A P Is Loose – All-Time Earner
This summer also saw a horse become the all-time money earner at Canterbury Park.
A P Is Loose, owned by Joel Zamzow and trained by Mac Robertson, claimed the distinction as part of a summer full of successful runs, including taking down the $50,000 Blair’s Cove Stakes. His total career earnings have topped $460,000.
Canterbury Commons Off and Running
Off the track, but adjacent to it, Canterbury Park received approval from the Shakopee City Council for a major new development that will shape the future of the area for years to come.
Canterbury Commons is a multi-use redevelopment is expected to attract more than $400 million in private investment while creating new and in-demand housing options and high-wage employment opportunities. Ground broke in October.
Basset Hounds – New Dog Race
Fans love the dog races here at Canterbury Park, and a new addition this year brought with it a viral video.
Basset Hounds were added to the slate of pup competitions this August, with floppy ears and tons of fun.
A video of the race on the Canterbury Park Facebook page has garnered more than 3.1 million views… and counting.
Plus, we also hosted a new event this year bringing back all the dogs for the Bark in the Park Championships.
The 2018 live racing season’s total purse disbursement hit record heights of more than $15.2 million, an average of approximately $220,000 per day.
Total handle also reached a new high. About $45 million, including on- and off-track dollars, was been wagered on Canterbury Park’s races, a jump of 9.4 percent compared to the previous season.
“We have had a very good summer of racing with solid attendance and wagering,” Canterbury President Randy Sampson said.
Following the 2018 live racing meet that concluded in September, Canterbury Park hosted AMA Motorcycle Flat Track racing. Preparation for the motorcycle races exposed the base of the main track surface, which provided an opportunity for extensive track work.
Extreme Horse Skijoring
We weren’t sure what the response would be to Extreme Horse Skijoring… but we soon found out that people love it.
For the first time in 2018 Canterbury Park hosted skijoring, in which skiers and snowboarders pulled by horses navigate jumps, obstacles and gates, all while using their arms to collect rings positioned throughout the course.
Extreme Horse Skijoring will return in 2019. Find out more.
Twin Cities Summer Jam Announcement
The announcement came down in August that Canterbury Park will host the Twin Cities Summer Jam, a major concert slated for July 2019.
The three-day music festival, featuring headliners including Tim McGraw, will run from July 18-20. Look for more announcements as the year unfolds.
Those are some of our favorite moments from the year. Do you have any we missed? Tell us about them in the comment section below.
Cheers to an exciting year ahead in 2019!
Ed. note: You can get your 2019 live racing season admission pass at a discount now.